At this point, it's clear who the best prospect from the Phillies' 2008 draft class has become.
One National League scout favorably compared centerfielder Anthony Gose to Houston's Michael Bourn after seeing him play recently at single-A Clearwater.
Gose's numbers heading into the weekend - a .273 batting average with 10 doubles, 10 triples, two home runs and 21 stolen bases - are good but not great. The scout, however, said Gose's projected talent goes beyond numbers.
"First of all, the kid is 19 years old and he won't be 20 until August, so he should have just finished his sophomore year in college," the scout said. "You have to be willing to look into a crystal ball a little bit and not just look at the stats.
"I met him and made a point to shake his hand. I asked him if he thought he'd play in the big leagues. He looked at me like I had three heads. He has great a makeup. He's confident but not cocky and strong as an ox. He has a great build to play the outfield and he plays every day. He's not dying in that Florida heat."
Gose, the Phillies' second-round pick behind Anthony Hewitt and Zach Collier in the 2008 draft, is the only player on the Clearwater roster who has started all 61 games. After hitting .232 in April, he has recovered to bat .299 since then.
"I'd have no problem playing him in center field in the big leagues right now," the scout said. "I would say the thing he needs to work on most is how to handle stuff on the inner third of the plate, but that's something a lot of young kids struggle with as they go through the minors."
The scout said Gose, a lefthanded hitter and thrower, must also work on his baserunning instincts. Even though he's third in the Florida State League with 21 steals, he has also been thrown out a league-high 17 times.
"He'll get better as he plays," the scout said. "I really believe that talent-wise, he is further along at the same stage as Michael Bourn was. He kind of reminds me of Michael a little bit."
The Lee deal. Phillippe Aumont has been demoted from double-A Reading to single-A Clearwater, Tyson Gillies hasn't played in a month and J.C. Ramirez has a 4.55 ERA at Clearwater.
Those were the three minor-league players the Phillies obtained in the three-team off-season trade that sent Cliff Lee to Seattle and also brought Roy Halladay to Philadelphia.
For Aumont, the trip down a level is designed for the 21-year-old righthander to regain some confidence after going 1-6 with a 7.43 ERA in 11 starts at Reading.
"Even though he's a very confident kid and he thinks he can pitch in the major leagues, when the results aren't there, it will hurt your confidence," LaMar said.
Earlier in the week, LaMar told The Inquirer's Matt Gelb that the Phillies erred by starting Aumont at Reading instead of Clearwater. He said the same internal discussions took place about Ramirez and the organization decided it would be best for the 21-year-old righthander to remain in Clearwater.
Despite the 4.55 ERA, LaMar feels as though Ramirez has had a productive season so far.
"He's progressed well," LaMar said. "We asked him to work on his secondary pitches, his slider and change-up, and both of them are better. He's had some quality innings. If he continues to improve, he has a chance to pitch at Reading at some point this season. We don't know yet whether we're going to continue to start him or if he'll eventually pitch in the bullpen."
As for Gillies, he hasn't played since May 10 because of a hamstring injury. LaMar said the centerfielder will likely be activated this weekend. Gillies was hitting .247 with five extra-base hits, six RBIs and one stolen base in three attempts before landing on the disabled list.
Schwimer shining. Michael Schwimer, a 6-foot-8 righthander and a 14th-round pick out of the University of Virginia in 2008, has pitched well at Reading and could be on the verge of being promoted to triple-A Lehigh Valley. Schwimer is 3-2 with a 2.73 ERA and five saves. He has struck out 40 hitters in 292/3 innings.
"He has good stuff, but he has been a little inconsistent," LaMar said. "He may get a shot by the end of the year to move up to triple-A."
Dugan's commencement. Outfielder Kelly Dugan, a second-round selection and the Phillies' first pick in the 2009 draft, will get his first taste of professional baseball outside of Florida on Friday when single-A Williamsport opens its season against State College.
"It's time for him to graduate from extended spring training," LaMar said.
Outfielder Kyrell Hudson, last year's third-round pick, will also play at Williamsport.
Extra bases. Lakewood first baseman Jonathan Singleton was hitting .410 with 17 extra-base hits and 28 RBIs after 28 games and 100 at-bats. "He's not only one of the finest hitting prospects in our organization, he's one of the finest hitting prospects in minor-league baseball." . . . Outfielder Zach Collier, a supplemental first-round selection in 2008, now has a hand injury that is keeping him from starting his season. . . . Lakewood outfielder Leandro Castro is fourth in the South Atlantic League with 44 RBIs.